Physicists are scientific generalists that study the nature of the universe. A background in physics can inform the study of other disciplines, and is one of the preferred preparations for many activities that are setting new directions in society.
The department offers several courses for non-science majors to provide some of this background. The requirements for a major or minor in physics are relatively flexible, and are designed to prepare people for either graduate work in physics or for later specialization in other areas. The physics department offers a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, and coordinates the combined degree in engineering.